Sankranti is a Sanskrit word that means the end of an event. For dwellers on earth, the movements of the sun make big news. Hence, the Indian solar calendar, based on these movements, has marked few of them to be auspicious.
- According to this calendar, in mid-January the sun enters Makar Rashi or the House of Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac. This is the time when the sun begins what is called the Uttarayan or its journey towards the northern hemisphere. All over the country, the first few days of Uttarayan are hailed as highly auspicious.
- The first day is particularly sacred and is called Makar Sankranti.This day is celebrated in almost all the states of India with various festivities and rituals.
- People throng to the holy rivers in large numbers for the sacred dip. The Kumbh Mela is held on this auspicious day once every 12 years at Prayag in Allahabad.